„I never thought I could make friends through sending letters.”
– 2021, Me
To start, I suffered a lot with my anxiety before the COVID pandemic but it got worse when I started to attend face to face school again. And like any other teenager, I didn’t know how to deal with my anxiety nor did I ever told anyone about it. I basically lived with it and it slowly consumed me, I started to become more afraid in anything even talking in a room or just socializing made me feel very overwhelmed.
Fast forward to 2021, I discovered SLOWLY wherein you can send letters worldwide and socialize from afar. It made me intrigued and thought to myself, „since it’s online, I should at least try to socialize with people”, so I did. I installed this app then eventually got several matches! Through that, I got to express myself in ways I could never do so in real life. I met solid people whom I can call friends, like Miguel– we’ve been talking for almost 2 years now at least. I got to learn about his culture, personality, likes and dislikes, and listen to our stories. It personally made me grow and develop skills like communicating and expressing. We celebrated our birthdays from afar, whenever he felt sad or down so do I and whenever we accomplished and feel happy– we genuinely congratulated each other with our lives ongoing.
My past me probably wouldn’t believe that I can now talk to people with ease and not feel overwhelmed all the time, I can now smile genuinely and actually see myself and feel the growth mentally and physically! SLOWLY is one of the reasons as to how I got to explore and adapt the world and reality in general. It became an outlet for people like me, to challenge ourselves and try to overcome difficulties all on our own. With the help of it’s users all around the world, it made an impact and influence varieties of personalities and ethnicity. You can actually learn and share each other’s interests, your stories, hardships and one’s culture and traditions with a letter digitally. The feature where it shows how long it is to deliver the letters to someone depending on their location also adds to the immersive experience of sending and receiving letters back in the old days.
I thank you SLOWLY and the SLOWLY community for providing a safe space to be vulnerable. I am proudly from the Philippines, here to share a piece of my experience.